Canberra Tour 2016 - School Blog

SDPS Canberra Blog 2016

Day 5: Our last day in the Australian Capital Territory! Today started at Cockington Green, an immaculate garden with miniature models of significant buildings and places. We were sent on a scavenger hunt around the property which made us notice the smaller and sometimes humorous features. We concluded our visit in the International Display where we were given the challenge to identify over 30 countries by their flags.

Next, we headed to the Australian Institute of Sport. We met our guide, an AIS Athlete who is training for the 100m and 200m sprints for the 2020 Olympics. She took us to the Game Zone where we got to test our skills on a range of equipment including a simulated cycling race, a soccer challenge, a rowing race and many others. It was a great way to start the tour! Soon we headed outside to see the facilities. Every venue we walked into was amazing and we were provided a wealth of information about how it is used. Some of the places we visited were the Gymnasium, Volley Ball Centre, Strength and Conditioning Centre and Aquatic Centre. The AIS was everything we hoped it would be!

After lunch, we commenced our tour of the Australian High Court. We visited Court Room One, used for Constitutional matters and Court Room Two, used for Appeals. Our guides were very engaging and provided a great deal of information and laughter.  They shared with us some of the recent big cases the High Court has dealt with.

Our final stop for the day was to Questacon. We were excited for 2 reasons; we had heard from the students least year it has the best gift shop and that is it like Scitech but a lot bigger! We got there early and had an absolute blast. There were 7 galleries each with a different science focus. The final floor was home to the illustrious Free Fall; we all put our courage to the test and completed it. We looked very silly in our orange overalls but it was certainly worth it!

Tomorrow night we will be back home with our families. We are headed to Sydney early tomorrow morning and you will be able to see what we are up to on Instagram. We are visiting the Taronga Zoo, Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach and hopefully Circular Quay. We would like to thank our parents for allowing us to be on this great trip and are looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow night at 9.05pm in Terminal 1 - Perth International Airport.

Day 4: Another day has flown by! Today started at Government House where we were greeted at the front door by one of the house attendants. We were informed right away there was a chance Sir Peter Cosgrove may come and say hello to us.....and HE DID! It was a surreal experience! He spoke to us about his role as the Governor General; his Ceremonial, Constitutional, Community and Commander In-Chief duties. He is a very busy man however he did have time for a photo with us. 

Next, we visited the Royal Australian Mint, here we learnt about the First Australian Currency and about how the mint operates now. We were amazed by the robots that work on the factory floor. We finished our tour by making our own coin. 

After morning tea, we headed into the National Portrait Gallery. We had a guided tour and saw portraits from many centuries ago. We saw a lot of modern portraits too. We participated in a drawing activity which will be coming home with us. 

Our last official visit for the day was to the Australian War Memorial. We had been really looking forward to this and it certainly was worth the wait. The AWM is an amazing building filled with so much history. We went on a guided tour and learnt a lot about World War One. We watched an awesome sound and light show about the Vietnam War, saw George the Bomber Plane and checked out a real tank. Our tour concluded with a visit to the Pool of Reflection and the Roll of Honour to watch the closing ceremony. 

We also visited many of the memorial sites on ANZAC Parade. 

After dinner, we went to the National Botanical Gardens for a torch light tour. We learn about Australian flora and fauna, and saw a range of animals including: Water Lizards, Brush-tail Possums, kookaburras, bats and kangaroos. 

We are off to bed now because tomorrow we are going to the Australian Institute of Sport!

Day 3: Today started at the National Capital Exhibition, here we learnt why Canberra was chosen as our National Capital. We discovered there was a national competition to design the layout of Canberra and we saw the top 4 entries. We were very impressed with Walter Burley Griffins design and amazed at how alike the drawings are to real life. The exhibition has a spectacular sound and light show that highlighted the significant landmarks in Canberra. We were set a task to design and build our own National landmark out of Lego. It was great as were our designs.

Next, we headed to the National Museum where we participated in a guide tour called 'Meet the People'. We saw many amazing artefacts including indigenous tools and hunting equipment.

Our class was very impressed with Circa, a rotating cinema showcasing Australia’s journey to Federation.

After some pizza in Reconciliation Park, we headed to Geoscience. We learnt many new things about our Earth particularly minerals, fossils, stones, tectonic plates, earth quakes and seismographs. After exploring the interactive science lab, we got to simulate an earthquake and measure it on a seismograph. Ours was the biggest out of all the schools who visited today.

Next was our bike ride around Lake Berley Griffin. We rode approximately 5km and saw some stunning scenery. We all thought this was a great way to see Canberra.

After dinner, we headed to the National Dinosaur Museum for a torch light tour. We all felt very special as the museum is closed to the public and the lights were off! The gift shop was pretty amazing too.

After the short walk back to our hotel, we headed to bed to get some rest in preparation of a big day tomorrow.

Day 2: Today started at the Australian Electoral Education Centre where we learnt about the importance of Democracy. Our guide taught us about women’s suffrage and indigenous voting rights in the early 1900’s. We participated in an interactive scavenger hunt which taught us about our electorate Stirling. Did you know the Stirling electorate has over 95,000 people in it? We were surprised at the number of adults who cast an informal vote this year. We also participated in an election and learnt about the preferential voting system.

 Next, we headed to the Museum of Australian Democracy. This is a huge museum where we had to wear special gloves so the oils in our skin didn’t damage the exhibits. We participated in a virtual tour of Old Parliament House which took us to many places within the building. We were very impressed to see Sir Edmund Barton’s Coatee (from 1901) which he wore to special dignitary events.

 After lunch, we had a quick stop at the National Arboretum where there is a very impressive playground. We were disappointed to leave!

 Soon after, we headed to Parliament House. Today Parliament was sitting so we got to see both the Senate and the House of Representatives during Question Time. Question Time was very intense, the Attorney General was the centre of most questions after a recent incident. We were able to spot Malcom Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Pauline Hanson and Tony Abbot. We had a sensational guide named Shane who taught us so much about the building and the people who work there.

Our final official stop for the day was to the Parliamentary Education Office. Here we became members of Parliament and voted on a bill regarding Wildlife Protection. Many of us had an important role to play. It was great fun!

 Tonight, after dinner we are headed to AMF Bowling where we will be putting our skills to the test.

 We are looking forward to our busy day tomorrow.

Day 1: We have had a very busy day; 2 flights and a bus ride to our accommodation. We arrived in Canberra and met our Coach Captain Luke who will be showing us around whilst we are here.

We arrived at the Gold Creek Resort at 7.00pm and quickly checked out our rooms. We had dinner in the dining hall at 7.30pm which consisted of sweet and sour chicken, dim sims, spring rolls, vegetable noodles and garden salad.

After dinner, we had a look at our itinerary for tomorrow and headed off to shower up ready for bed.

We all know tomorrow is going to be a busy day which we will tell you all about in tomorrow’s blog.

Good night from Canberra.